The Ghana Incentive-Based Risk-Sharing System for Agricultural Lending Project (GIRSAL) has intensified efforts to make it easy for agribusinesses to gain credit from financial institutions.
Lack of access to cheaper credit is seen as a major setback to the growth of agribusiness.
It is against this backdrop that GIRSAL, with support from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has introduced an Agriculture and Agribusiness Knowledge Portal to provide agric-related information to financial institutions who lend to smallholder farmers and others involved in any form of agribusiness.
The Board Director of GIRSAL, Godwin Anku, speaking at the launch of the portal, said it will go a long way to make lending to agribusinesses much easier.
“It is with hope that the use of the portal will help in closing the knowledge gap on agriculture within the financial sector, support decision-making by finance institutions in assessment of agribusiness applications. It has the potential of reducing the rejection rate of agricultural loan applications. It also has the potential of reducing agriculture loan processing time,” he stated.
The Country Manager of AGRA, the institution in partnership with GIRSAL, Kofi Biney, expressed his gratitude to GIRSAL for helping to bridge the gap for smallholder farmers especially.
“Access to financing is one cardinal point that runs through all the aspects that we have been working in; and so we feel that we are in the right relationship with GIRSAL and other partners to be able to take out the bottlenecks that hinder access to finance, and to ensure that we have adequate financing to push the agenda forward.”
The agribusiness knowledge portal forms a core part of GIRSAL’s Technical Assistance (TA) strategy for financial institutions lending to agriculture.
It is intended to complement GIRSAL’s other TA interventions such as agribusiness financing courses at the National Banking College in coaching, mentoring and other capacity building programmes.
This knowledge platform aims to bring together relevant agribusiness content from different sources, into a single interface and present the information in a useful way to support the agric-related information needs of financial institutions.
The primary target audience is the credit and agribusiness officers within the financial institutions who need to access a wide range of knowledge to assess the wide variety of loan application from different agriculture value chains.